Stephanie Herrera? Chris Boeskool? Mike Jebbett? Jesse Alan Downs? Brian Sims? Clay Shirky? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: Activists have formulated an adage about privilege that has achieved wide distribution:
When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression
Would you please examine its provenance?
Quote Investigator: This thought can be expressed in many ways; hence, it has been difficult to trace. The earliest close match located by QI appeared in December 2010 on the website: “Are Women Human?: Debunking gender myths”. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1
I’ve seen a quote, something like “To the privileged, equality feels like oppression.”
This instance was more concise than the modern version. It was written by a commentator using the handle “Faith”, but she disclaimed authorship by using the phrase “I’ve seen the quote”. Hence, the expression was already in circulation. Indeed, the existence of precursors occurring by 1997 suggests that the statement evolved over time.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.